Confessions of a First Time Mom

Not too long ago I wrote a post on my breastfeeding confessions. After that post, I got to thinking that it might be fun to share some of my first time mom confessions. I’d love to hear some of yours, too. Make sure you leave them in the comments!

Confessions of a First Time Mom - Click to find out the only pregnancy book I read and my strange first pregnancy symptom. What's your confession?

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The only pregnancy book I read cover to cover was Baby Bumps by Nicole Polizzi (a.ka. Snooki from The Jersey Shore). I probably should be embarrassed to admit this but I’m not. It was a really good book. Especially, since I faced an unplanned pregnancy. Though Nicole’s circumstances were very different, I could relate to and felt comforted by her initial feelings toward finding out she was pregnant.

I once got out of the car at a stop sign, while very pregnant, because I was angry (over something really stupid, of course). I ended up in Starbucks sitting at a table crying to some strange man about my problems. Hormones anyone?!?!

One of my first pregnancy symptoms was gas. I looked it up and it’s totally normal. I then called a friend and asked her why I’ve never heard anyone talk about this. Seriously. Why? Am I the only one?

I got a lot of nose bleeds when I was pregnant. Another symptom I had no idea about!

I was so sleep deprived the first month of my son’s life, I hardly remember it. So glad I recorded a lot!

I was really freaked out to use that Nose Freida thingMy son was 4 months old the first time I used it. And, yes, it is as amazing as everyone says. If you don’t have one, you should get one… if you can get over the fact that you’re sucking up snot!

I have second guessed my son’s name. A lot. Don’t get me wrong, I love his name. In fact, I wrote it down a couple of years before he was born. But he actually goes by his middle name (the name I love) and I’ve often thought maybe I should have just gone with that as his first name. Also, he has a hyphenated last name. I’ve wondered about that decision many times. Ugh. 

I once referred to my son as “my nephew”The really bad part is, it wasn’t that long ago! But, in my defense, I was an aunt for 19 years before becoming a mom. It takes some getting used to!

Motherhood is way more fun than I ever expectedI knew that I would love being a mom but I also knew that it would be tiring and hard because that’s what I constantly hear moms say. All. the. time. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how fun it is!

These are just a few. I could probably write a book with all my confessions. Who knows?!?! Maybe I will!

Ok, you’re turn! What’s one of your confessions? 

Did you know I launched a new blog in October 2016? Check out For the Love of Mom where there’s less kids stuff and more stuff just for YOU! 

3 Easy Keepsake Ideas for Busy Mamas

Years ago, I got really into scrap booking. I loved it. I bought the whole Creative Memories Kit (being a student at the time, that was a major purchase). There was only one problem. I didn’t have much to scrapbook. I was still a little too young (and broke) to have a very exciting life and, as a ministry student, I didn’t have the traditional college experience.

But, still, I tried. I have a lovely scrapbook with the brand new car I got at 21, New Year’s 2002 when my friends and I stayed at a nice hotel (and then stayed in our room all night because we were afraid of all the drunk people), a road trip to Disneyland, and my friends and I posing with the books we bought at Barnes & Noble (I told you).

I finally gave up on documenting my life and I ended up making a scrapbook as a Christmas present for my mom. My friend and I would meet with some of the moms from church and scrapbook with them. I would frequently comment that I wished I had something to put in my book and they frequently assured me that when I did, I wouldn’t have the time and would fall very behind.

Boy were they right!

When I have a few spare minutes, I almost always choose a shower.

Still, documenting my son’s life is important to me. I want him to be able to look at pictures of himself and read about the things he was doing and saying. I’ve found 3 easy keepsakes to help with this!

3 Easy Keepsake Ideas for Busy Mamas - Click to see these easy ways to document your baby or child's life!

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information.)

Words to Remember Book 

I received this book as a gift from a friend at Christmas time and I totally love it! It’s just a journal to remember the things your child has said. I’ve only written in it less than a handful of times and that’s really what I love about it. When I do write in it, I just jot down the new words my son is saying and date it. It only takes a few minutes and I don’t feel like a bad mother for not keeping a daily journal of my son’s life!

Old School Photo Album 

When I was pregnant I decided that instead of a Baby’s First Year book I would just buy a simple photo album, print pictures from Wal-Mart and put them in. (OK, fine, I actually have two books because I filled up one book with the first 6 months!) This is such an easy option for documenting the first year (or any year, really). Of course, it still requires a little work.

My Social Book 

If writing and printing pictures still sounds like a little too much then My Social Book is perfect for you! My Social Book takes pictures, status updates, etc. from your Facebook timeline (or Instagram feed) and puts them into a book. It looks like your timeline… in a book. It’s really cool! I had one made from the time I announced my pregnancy publicly (at 28 weeks. Yes, I said 28 weeks.) up until my son’s first birthday. I could not be happier with the outcome of the book. As you can see from the unboxing video. I will definitely be making more of these books.

Use this link for 25% off at My Social Book. 

Do you have any easy keepsake ideas?

The Truth About Co-Sleeping

My son and I co-sleep. Actually, we bed share (more on that later). This is a fact that I didn’t use to talk about openly. Yes, there was a little hesitation to open myself up to all of the “opinions”  but, more so, because I know that there are legitimate concerns about it. But after months of trying to hide it like I hid the emergency formula (you can read about that in Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mom), I started noticing something – a lot of moms co-sleep, at least sometimes. Like me, though, many don’t willingly offer that information. Specifically in the U.S., sleeping with a small child is not culturally acceptable.

And yet… many of us do it. But, wait, aren’t we the culture? Something is amiss. 

I am not writing this post to declare that all parents should co-sleep. What I hope to do here is shed a little light for parents that are considering co-sleeping, are co-sleeping and maybe even those who shame others for doing it because there is a lot of misinformation and fear surrounding the topic.

The Truth About Co-Sleeping - Is it really bad to co-sleep Click here to find out the truth!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure for more information. 

Co-Sleeping doesn’t have to mean sleeping in the same bed. 

Co-sleeping is often used to reference parent and child sleeping in the same bed but co-sleeping doesn’t necessarily have to be thatCo-sleeping is sleeping in close proximity of the child (close enough to touch) but not on the same surface. For the first month of my son’s life, this is what we did. I had the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper and I slept as close as possible to my son without him being in my bed. Then we transitioned to bed sharing. Which, is exactly how it sounds – sharing a bed. 

Co-Sleeping can help baby breathe better. 

When baby and mom sleep close, their breathing patterns will sync up. This is especially helpful in the newborn stage, when the baby’s sleep pattern is irregular. In a sense, baby is still learning to breathe and being close to mom while sleeping helps with this process. 

Co-Sleeping babies spend less time in deep sleep.

Now, this may sound like a negative thing but when it comes to concerns such as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) this is actually a good thing. One of the concerns with SIDS is  the lack of sleep arousal but when sleeping next to mom, mom and baby have what Dr. Sears (my go to guy!) calls synchronous arousal. This means when one stirs, coughs, etc. the other does as well. Again, this is a huge benefit in preventing SIDS. In fact, sleeping in the same room decreases the chance of SIDS by up to 50%

Co-Sleeping may actually help baby to sleep better than sleeping in a room alone. 

My son had terrible separation anxiety starting at about 6 months. I used to joke, “it’s like he thinks I’m gone forever”. Well, guess what. He probably did. Babies don’t have the reasoning that says, “she’ll be right back” or “she’s just sleeping in her own room”. Babies also don’t have the out of sight out of mind ability that we do. When a baby under one wakes during the night and mom is not there he panics. When a baby wakes in the same room he is more likely to fall right back to sleep.

Again, I am not trying to convince anyone that they “should” co-sleep, I am just addressing the fact that co-sleeping is not bad. There are many benefits, in addition to the ones I’ve shared in this post. That being said, it is important that parents who decide to co-sleep do so safely.

5 Tips for Safe Co-Sleeping: 

Parents should never bring a child in the bed when they have been drinking or under the influence of drugs.

Parents that smoke should not co-sleep/bed share.

Moms that smoked during pregnancy should not bed share.

It is not recommended that formula fed babies bed share, ever.

Make sure sheets are tightly pulled, baby’s area is free of pillows & blankets and the bed does not have any gaps for baby to fall through.

Check out this article for more tips on safe co-sleeping/bed sharing. 

If you would like more information on co-sleeping I would recommend checking out the articles and books listed below. Bed sharing has been a wonderful experience for my son and I… and I am not ashamed to say it!

Co-Sleeping and Bed Sharing 

Co-Sleeping: Yes, No, Sometimes

Cosleeping Around the World 

Sleeping with your Baby (Book) 

The Baby Sleep Book

Did you know I launched a new blog in October 2016? Check out For the Love of Mom where there’s less kids stuff and more stuff just for YOU! 

Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mom

In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, I thought I would share some of my breastfeeding confessions. Also, I am sharing 12 really great breastfeeding posts written by a few of the mamas from my Mom Blog Tribe. Make sure you scroll down to check them out – these moms have some great experiences and advice!

Ok, let the confessions begin..

Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mom - Breastfeeding Blog Post Roundup & Super Basic Breastfeeding Checklist included - Click to get it!

I didn’t enjoy breastfeeding for the first few months. 

The first day my son was born, I was in complete awe over how he nuzzled his way down to nurse within minutes of being laid on my chest. But once we left the hospital that awe went straight out the window. It hurt. It was awkward. And it hurt. When my friends would tell me that I would start to love it, I had serious doubts.

I constantly questioned my milk supply. 

There was no reason to, I just did. My son gained weight fine, he peed and pooped as he should but, still, I was always thinking I didn’t have enough.

I was too lazy to pump. 

The only times I ever pumped was during the engorgement stage and the few times that my son slept through a feeding. (I know there’s different school’s of thought on this but mine is, unless there is a medical reason to wake the baby for a feeding, I don’t!) Other than that, I was just way too tired physically and mentally to keep up with pumping on a regular basis.

I gave my baby some formula.

Being away from my baby and unable to feed him was extremely rare but for such events (since I didn’t pump) I had formula.

I hid said formula because I was ashamed. 

Yep. I have only ever told a couple of people (until now, that is) that I had formula on hand as backup because I felt so guilty and feared being judged.

I worried that my milk wasn’t good enough for my baby. 

Ironically enough, I often worried that my milk wouldn’t be nutritious enough and frequently thought that maybe I should just give my son formula.

I co-sleep because, again, I’m lazy. 

To me, one of the biggest perks of breastfeeding is you don’t actually have to get up to feed the baby. Just make sure the boobs are out and sleep tight. (I love my sleep!)

I’ve never worn a nursing bra. 

A friend of mine told me to buy nursing sports bras. So, I went to the store to get one and… yikes…  they’re expensive. I bought two regular old sports bras for less than the price of one nursing sports bra. I wore those for awhile then, eventually I just started wearing my regular bras again. I fill them in a little more than before but, to be honest, I kind of like it.

I have nursed my son while in a moving vehicle. 

Don’t worry, he was safely buckled in his car seat. I’ve also nursed while sitting in a kids’ playhouse at one of those little kiddie land places, in the bath tub and on the toilet!

I’m pretty shocked that I have breastfed so long, or at all. 

I initially set a breastfeeding goal of 6 months because mentally that felt much more doable than a year or more. But, honestly, I had little faith in myself that I would make it past the first two weeks (I’m pretty sure my support people had even less faith in me!). I was quite shocked that I even made it to six months let alone 14 months (and counting).

Please note, I am speaking from the experience of someone that had minimal challenges. We had a very small latch problem that was fixed in the first three days and my son had oral thrush for two months but there were no major difficulties for us. So, for me, the biggest battle was really and truly my own will and mindset.

What breastfeeding confession do you have? 





As promised, here are some really great Breastfeeding articles from my Mom Blog Tribe. Check them out! 

The Early Days of Breastfeeding – Sophia Says Hello

Intimacy and the Breastfeeding Mother – Lactivist in Louboutins

Breastfeeding My Biggest Nursing Surprises – Short Sweet Mom

5 Things to Include in a Distraction Free Breastfeeding Zone – SoLace in a Small Town

Challenges with Breastfeeding a Toddler – Healthy Happy Thrifty Family

Lessons in Breastfeeding – Momma Junebug

These are a Few of My Favorite Breastfeeding Things – Naturally Made With Love

Breastfeeding While Traveling – Tapped Out Travellers

Confessions of an Exclusively Breastfeeding Mom – From Nurse to Mom

Working Mom Breastfeeding Essentials – Fab Working Mom Life

15+ Recipes that Boost Lactation for Breastfeeding Moms – Fab Working Mom Life

Remembering the Last Latch – Fab Working Mom Life




One more thing! Are you a soon-to-be breastfeeding mama or know someone who is? 

Get a FREE Download of my Super Basic Breastfeeding Checklist. 

 Super Basic Breastfeeding Checklist - Click for a FREE download

How to Get Better Sleep

 

My mom and I were recently having a conversation about how I really don’t know anything about what I was like as a baby. Except that I was a good sleeper. My mom looked at me and said in a very matter-of-fact way, “You were a really good sleeper.”

I’ve always loved to sleep.

I had a friend who used to say he wished he didn’t need sleep because it was a waste of time. Thanks but no thanks. I need my sleep! Few things make me quite as happy a lying my head on my pillow at night. (sigh)

 

How to Get Better Sleep

 

Unfortunately, I just don’t sleep like I used to anymore.

Let me rephrase that, I don’t sleep as much as I used to. I’m still a pretty good sleeper, though. When I sleep, I sleep. It’s probably a good thing my son and I co-sleep, otherwise, he would probably be left to cry for quite awhile before I would hear him.

Although, I don’t have issues with sleeping once I am sleeping, I do have issues with not going to sleep early enough or taking awhile to unwind when I attempt to go to sleep earlier.

 

Maybe life would be easier if we didn’t need sleep but we do. It’s a crucial part of our health and well-being. And I know I’m not the only that struggles with getting some zzzzzz’s. This is why I am really excited to introduce you to, Casper, a start-up company that is involved in helping to create the perfect night’s sleep with innovative resources and products like their latex foam mattresses.

 

Casper sent me their exclusive better night sleep cards so that I could share one or a few with you. (I’m going to share them all… shhhh.) Also, though I have received these cards to review and share with you, all views and opinions are my own and I have not received compensation.

So, I have to admit, I didn’t really know what to expect when I heard I would be sent some “cards”. Were they going to hypnotize me? I had no idea!

Each card simply has a sleep problem with some advice on how to combat said problem. They’re pretty simple but they have great advice. I have actually struggled with most of these at one time or another,  except maybe Sunday night insomnia (I never even would have thought of that one!). Oh, and noise. I can sleep through anything. Right now, “busy mind” is probably my issue. I feel like when my little one goes down to sleep, the race is on to get stuff done. I’m going to try this advice and get into a pre-bedtime routine. Or maybe I’ll start with getting a bedtime!

I hope you find these cards helpful, as I have.

What’s your sleep problem?

 

Anxiety. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Busy Mind. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Discomfort. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Hunger. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Noise. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Not Tired. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Sunday Night Insomnia. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Temperature. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Interview with a Real Mom on Postpartum Depression

Real Mom Interview - Postpartum Depression - PPD - Diary of a New Mommy - Real Moms Talk

When I started Real Moms Talk, I knew right away that I wanted to discuss PPD and Baby Blues. What I didn’t know was what an overwhelming response I would get from women wanting to share their stories. Today, we have an interview with Misty Eilar from Adventures As a Wife and Mommy. Misty is talking about her experience with PPD. I am so grateful that Misty was willing to openly share with us! My hope in doing this interview (and others to come) is that women facing postpartum depression, baby blues and other maternal mental health concerns will know that: 1) they are not alone, 2) there is no shame and 3) they can reach out. I hope you will share Misty’s interview with anyone you think it could help. 

Before we get to the interview, I want to share some basic information about PPD:  

It is not uncommon for women to experience feelings of worry, fatigue and sadness after giving birth. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, about half of mothers are affected by these feelings in the first few days after having a baby (most commonly between days 2 and 5, postpartum). The term for this is Baby Blues and it will generally go away within a couple of weeks. Baby Blues and Postpartum depression (PPD) are not one in the same.  The feelings with PPD are more intense and last much longer. PPD is a clinical depression. Approximately 15% of mothers get PPD each year in the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Symptoms of PPD are similar to that of depression but may also include: 

  • Crying more often than usual
  • Feelings of anger
  • Withdrawing from loved ones
  • Extreme worry about your baby or feeling distant from your baby
  • Worrying that you will hurt your baby
  • Feeling guilty about not being a good parent or doubting your ability to care for your baby

(Above information taken from the CDC website.) 

If you are experiencing these symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider.

Real Moms Talk NoviceMommy.comInterview with Misty Eilar: 

  1. Were you diagnosed with postpartum depression? Yes, I was diagnosed at about 5 months postpartum. My husband made me go because he was worried.
  2. What were the symptoms you experienced?  I was sad, depressed, anxious, irritated all the time, and couldn’t handle anything. I noticed my sadness first. 
  3. How long after having your baby did you notice PPD symptoms? I noticed them at about 3 months, but I was dealing with C-Diff at the time and really didn’t think about it much.
  4. Was there a specific event that caused you to seek help? I was finally relatively healthy from C-Diff and was still feeling off for some reason. 
  5. Did you confide in anyone before going seeing a doctor? I confided in my Husband and my friend, Anne.
  6. Did you have any guilt or shame associated with your diagnosis? No not at all. It is somewhat common and I already had Anxiety issues before. 
  7. What did you do to recover? I am on Zoloft and I have people to talk to when I need it.
  8. What advice would you give to a woman that thinks she may have PPD? Please be honest and ask for help. There is nothing to be ashamed of. 
  9. What advice would you give to a woman who has been diagnosed with PPD? Work at getting better. There is no quick fix. If you do take medication, please talk with your doctor before you decide to go off of it. 

Meet Misty: 

Misty Eilar - Adventures as A Wife and Mommy - Real Moms Talk Interview - PPD - Postpartum Depression I am a mommy of a wonderful 15 month old girl named Annabel. My husband Brandon and I are going on our 5th wedding anniversary. I am a stay at home mom and blogger. My main focus of my blog is mommy, DIY and Saving Money. I also do product and book reviews. I don’t do it for the money (I don’t make any). I do it just to spread my love, life and knowledge with everyone.

 

Would you like to share your story? Real Moms Talk accepts interviews and original posts on a variety of subjects that matter to moms. Email inez@novicemommy.com. 

Music Time With Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers

 

Music time is not only a great activity for little ones but it has a life-long positive impact on brain development. My son has enjoyed playing a lot of different games and activities but music time is definitely his favorite. It only gets more fun as he grows! We do a daily “structured” (as structured as we can be) music time but he often initiates his own music time several times a day.

When it’s music time, I start off by clapping my hands on my knees to let my son know we’re about to sing. I also do this in the church nursery and I have one little guy that will walk up to me and hit my knees, asking to sing. It’s too cute!

Music Time for Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information.)

Here are some of the songs we sing during our music time and some of the fun things we do to go along with them. 

Zip A Dee Doo Dah – We are in a play group that opens circle time with this song every week. The group is called SKIP, so we actually sing “Skip a dee doo dah” but I sing it at home with my son the regular way. It’s a good opening song. I usually use an instrument like a tambourine or the maracas.

ABC Song – We usually play instruments during this song (these are our favorite) but I sometimes use his ABC book to point out the different letters as we sing.

If You’re Happy & You Know It – This is a favorite of my son’s. He mostly claps the whole time but it’s still fun.

Old MacDonald – What kid doesn’t love Old MacDonald? I use our Animal Noises book with this song. When we get to the “had a” I open the book to see what animal we will be doing. If you do this, make sure to shut the book after each animal for the dramatic affect of opening it for the next one. If you have a toy with barnyard animals, you could also use these. Keep the animals hidden and then pull one out when it’s time.

The Chicken Dance – I’m not sure how we even got started with this one but it’s the first tune my son has been able to “sing”. He will randomly bust this one out and start flailing his arms all over the place. It’s quite adorable. I usually will include this one in music time. It’s great for older ones because it gets them moving and kids love to shake their booties!

Shapes Song – I was trying to find a shapes song and came across this one on youtube. It’s an easy tune to catch on to. If you have a shape sorter you can use the shapes during the song or you could use a book and point to the shapes.

Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes – We have a Scholastic book to go with this song, so sometimes we sing along with the book (there are also other books for the song on Amazon). Other times we just do without.

The Wheels on the Bus – My son really loves this one, too. I like to do this one sitting down with him on my legs. When we sing “the people on the bus” I bounce him “up and down” on my legs. He really enjoys this part and “the wipers on the bus go swish swish swish”.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star – This is one of my favorites. Oh, and my son likes it too! We turn off the lights and use a flashlight as the “star”. I like to turn it off and on during the “twinkle, twinkle” and I start off point at the floor until “up above”, then I point it at the ceiling. My son loves looking up at the “star”. Another fun thing to do, if you want to be more active (especially for older kids), is lay on your back on the ground and move your arms and legs in and out so you look like a twinkling star. 

Numbers Song – One little, two little, three little… numbers.  I use my fingers to hold up the different numbers as we sing. When my son was a baby I used to sing, “one little, two little, three little babies”.

The More We Get Together – In our play group they end with this song and say each child’s name (example, “with Jack and Emma and Noah and (so on)… the happier we’ll be”. I do the same thing at home but since it’s just baby and mommy, I usually name our other family members as well.

What’s your little one(s) favorite song?